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Clipper Race: Calm before the storm

Published on November 24th, 2019

(November 24, 2019; Day 7) – One week into Race 4, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race fleet has experienced a slight lull as a high pressure system moves over the teams. It is bringing noticeably warmer conditions ahead of the next forecasted low.

Mark Burkes, WTC Logistics Skipper, explains: “We had hoped to miss most of the lull in breeze as the high pressure moved above us but alas, we didn’t. The last six hours have been painful with virtually no movement for most of the time.

“The only plus side is seeing that others around us also moved slowly. Not Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Qingdao though; they power on relentlessly, having made it far enough ahead.”

Qingdao, in first place for a third consecutive day, and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam showing in third due to Imagine your Korea being so close the rhumb line, have made their intent clear as the two teams head towards the Scoring Gate. Whilst the result is not set in stone the third bonus point is looking to be the most hotly contested.

Imagine your Korea Skipper, Dan Smith: “We sailed down to the ice limit waiting for the wind to veer so we could gybe and make good speed east in the dark and maybe have a bash at third for the scoring gate.

“It doesn’t look likely but as predicted the boats behind us have been slower. With a bit of luck, the same wind will swallow up Zhuhai and slow the team down but being east of us we expect they will escape (this time).”

Whilst the teams have been reporting easier sailing conditions, they are all aware that the next few days of weather are likely to make things uncomfortable but potentially fast.

Simon Rowell, Clipper Race Meteorologist: “That front is just catching up with the westerly boats now. It looks strong, with gusts into the 50’s and individual large squalls probably giving more for short intervals.”

Hugues Stellio, Dare To Lead AQP: “The temperature in the boat is around 10/15 degrees celsius, and the storm coming is forecasted with gusts up to 50kts. We are ready for it, this time we will be on the north side of the low pressure, which means, in the Southern Hemisphere, that the wind will be on the beam or aft.”

Similar sentiment from on board GoToBermuda with Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immellman signing off with: “All are well and looking forward to our first southern low pressure, with trepidation, anxiousness, and excitement. Let’s hope that the “wintery” conditions are not too “wintery”.”

Unicef is continuing on towards South Africa to offload crewman Andrew Toms who is suffering from a suspected appendicitis. The current ETA of the yacht into Durban is late on November 26. For more, click here.

Collision: Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China remain in Cape Town for repair after an incident at the start of Race 4 resulted in significant damage. After a review of the facts, Sanya, China was deemed to be at fault after a clear breach of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 10 ‘On Opposite Tacks’. Details.

The 11 teams set off on November 17 for the Leg 3/Race 4 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, which takes the fleet 4750nm from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The majority of the fleet is due to arrive in Cape Town between December 9 and 14.

Race detailsSkipper listRace routeTrackerFacebook

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race:
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.

Held biennially, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 12th edition has attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course. The race finishes on August 8.

The course is divided into 8 legs and 15 individual races, with some of the crew in for the entire circumnavigation while others will do individual legs. The team having the best cumulative score over the entire course will win the Clipper Race Trophy.

The Clipper 2019-20 Race Route:
The fleet departs from London, UK to Portimão, Portugal; across the Atlantic to Punta del Este, Uruguay; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to Seattle, USA; to New York via the famous Panama Canal; to Bermuda and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing to Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; before arriving back to London as fully proven ocean racers.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

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